"Several people have looked at it including a professional photographer and they can't work out what it might be - maybe it is a guardian angel."
(all emphasis mine) (Hat Tip: The WebElf Report via Free Republic) For the Zenit link click here. For a previous posting titled: Homosexual Gene is an Abnormality, click here.
The Bible clearly teaches that homosexual practices are wrong, says an exegete from the John Paul II Institute in Rome. Father Jean-Baptiste Edart, is co-author of "Clarifications sur l'Homosexualité dans la Bible" (Clarifications on Homosexuality in the Bible), published by Editions du Cerf. ZENIT interviewed the authors in February. In this follow-up interview, Father Edart of the Emmanuel Community, discusses more in-depth the biblical teachings on homosexuality. Part 2 of this interview will appear Friday. Q: What are the references to homosexuality in the Bible? Father Edart: This subject is given very little coverage in the Bible. This is linked to the absence of the visibility of this phenomenon, and that is a logical consequence of the prohibition of this behavior. The biblical texts which address the question of homosexuality directly or indirectly are: In the Old Testament Genesis 19:7-8: "I beg you, my brothers, not to do this wicked thing. I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with men. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please. But don't do anything to these men." Judges 19:23-24: "No, my brothers; do not be so wicked. Since this man is my guest, do not commit this crime. Rather let me bring out my maiden daughter or his concubine. Ravish them, or do whatever you want with them; but against the man you must not commit this wanton crime." Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination." In the New Testament 1 Corinthians 6:9: "Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor sodomites ... will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Timothy 1:10: "... law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly ... the unchaste, practicing homosexuals, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching." Romans 1:26-27: "Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity." Q: You quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. How should these texts be understood? Father Edart: These two texts contain a list of vices presented as unacceptable for access to the kingdom of God. In 1 Corinthians, two Greek words make reference to homosexuality: "malakos," translated here as "homosexuals," and "arsenokoites," translated as "sodomites." These terms are very rare: "Malakos" appears only here in St. Paul, as for "arsenokoites," it is the first recurrence in the whole of Greek literature. "Malakos" means, literally, "gentle, silky, delicate." In a homosexual relationship, it designates the passive partner, but it can also refer to homosexual prostitutes or very effeminate men. The study of the meaning of "arsenokoites," and the clearly sexual context of the list of prohibitions invalidate these last two marginal interpretations. "Arsenokoites" means literally "to lie with a man." Formed by the association of two words present in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, it quite probably appeared in the Judeo-Hellenistic context. Rabbis used the Hebrew expression "lie with a man," taken from the Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, to express the homosexual relationship. They did not limit it to pederasty. All these elements seem sufficient to us to affirm that the most plausible theory is that this term refers to men having the active role in relations of a homosexual nature. The meaning of "arsenokoites" allows one to limit the meaning of "malakos" to the passive partner in a homosexual relationship. Homosexual acts, therefore, are considered extremely grave, directly offending the divine Law. This teaching is perfectly consistent with Judaism of that time. No distinction is related to a question of sexual orientation, or of circumstances of the act, nor is it indicated. It is the act itself which is condemned. Q: And Romans 1:18-32? Father Edart: St. Paul presents acts of a homosexual nature in men as well as women as a consequence of God's wrath. Research was substantiated around the precise nature of this homosexuality and of the interpretation which that passage should be given.
The Apostle wished to illustrate the nature of the ungodliness. He used homosexuality for that, vice characteristic of pagans in the Jewish tradition. Based on the creation account in Genesis 1 and in Deuteronomy 4, he established the link between homosexuality and idolatry. In idolatry, man is dominated by the creature he adores, thus not rendering that corresponds only to the Creator. What takes place is an inversion of the initial, manifested divine plan, among other things, in the sexual difference. In the act of a homosexual nature, this differentiation is not taken into consideration. This is why it constitutes for Paul the best illustration possible of ungodliness. Another difficulty of interpretation of this text is the meaning of "against nature." In Roman culture, the adjective "natural" characterized acts in accord with social conventions. Thus in Greco-Roman culture, beyond the feminine-masculine structure -- masculine is the dominant relationship -- it governed who established the moral norm in a loving relationship.
The allusion to Genesis 1 in Romans 1:19-23 invites us to see in "nature" the order willed by God and identifiable in creation. That is translated, among other things, by the man-woman sexual difference, fundamental structure willed by God as expression of his being of communion. God willed the sexual union of man and woman, and this divine will, or divine Law, inscribed in nature is perceptible by reason. Man can observe this through all the elements that characterize sexual identity, genitalia being one of these signs. If we wish to take into consideration the Roman meaning of this term, we could say that the act against nature does not respect the social convention established by God in creation. The reference to Genesis 1 allows one to understand that this prohibition in no way is invalidated by questions of "tendencies" or orientation. It is every homosexual act in its materiality which is contrary to the divine will manifested in the beginning, whether imposed or consented. Attention to the literal sense of the New Testament texts shows clearly therefore that homosexual acts are considered as gravely contrary to the divine Law. It is important to understand that this negative moral qualification is the logical consequence of a more positive side. God willed to create man to be in alliance with him. This was manifested in the beginning in the sexual difference. The communion between man and woman is the first revelation of the love of God for man. The difference allows for the expression of a complementarity, thus making possible the gift of persons. The sexed body manifests this. The teaching of the Church is in perfect continuity with what Scripture says on this subject.
Just reposting this since it did not survive in my original comeback post... a clip from "The Quiet Man," a fine, and very Catholic, film, perfect for St. Patrick's Day!
Ireland has the highest rates of binge-drinking in the European Union, a survey exploring attitudes to alcohol has indicated. ... Binge-drinking is a particular problem among young people, with almost a fifth of the 15-24 age group usually binge-drinking when consuming alcohol, according to the results of the survey on attitudes towards alcohol, presented by the European Commission on Thursday. ... The Catholic Church has added its voice to those warning of the dangers to society of alcohol abuse. ... In recent years there has been much concern about underage drinking on Irish streets on Saint Patrick's Day and some of the resulting problems, including violence, our correspondent says.Seriously, binge drinking is not anything to be proud of. I'm not singling out the Irish per se, just that we've taken our Catholic holidays to the extreme that some of these holy days have become more banal than holy. We probably need to retake these days and emphasise the spiritual aspects of them. Like John Paul II said, we need to transform the world. What better way than celebrating the true nature of these holidays!. For the BBC World News report on this story click here. For the liberals trying to change St. Patrick's Day to Shamrock Day posting click here. For Fidei Defensors epic posting to begin his CVSTOS FIDEI blogging entry on St. Patrick's Day click here.
Pope Benedict XVI issued a new document Tuesday saying that Catholic politicians have a "non-negotiable" duty to oppose practices like abortion and euthanasia. The pontiff also reaffirmed the Catholic Church's position that political leaders who endorse these anti-life practices should voluntarily refuse communion.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;
--The Book of the Prophecies of Jeremiah 1:5
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.
--Holy Gospel of St. John 14:6
Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. --Romans 6:16, 23Recently Father Thomas Euteneuer wrote an article called Sean Hannity's Gospel in Human Life International where Fr. Euteneuer called out Sean Hannity for his promotion of birth control:
"then the repentance I would like to hear out of Sean Hannity's mouth is for his shameless—even scandalous—promotion of birth control."Well Sean Hannity didn't like being called out on his false faith and here is the following clip where Fr. Euteneuer and Sean Hannity 'debating' on Hannity & Colmes: Towards the end of this video clip Father Euteneur was asked by Alan Colmes if he would deny Sean Hannity Communion and Father Euteneur said "I would". The look on Sean Hannity's face is sweet. (for the transcript click here) It doesn't matter what our political allegiances are or where we are born, it is practicing our faith in the world is our defining characteristic that distinguishes Christians from non-Christians. It isn't easy being a Christian, but the rewards of Heaven are certainly enough for this Catholic to practice my faith with love and sincerity in a world of rampant secularism and materialism. For Human Life International, pro-life missionaries to the world, click here. For the Sean Hannity's Gospel by Father Thomas Euteneur click here. To read Father Thomas Euteneur's blog, Spirit & Life, click here. To learn more about Father Thomas Euteneur click here. Catholic Blogosphere Reacts (condemns) Sean Hannity's False Christianity: My Domestic Church has an excellent posting on the logical fallacies, ergo, shouting techniques, of Sean Hannity click here. The Curt Jester sounds off here. For Gazizza.net posting click here. Amy Welborn sounds off in Open Book here. Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii posts here. Gerald at The Cafeteria is Closed posts here.
Let all Catholics publicly venerate the most saintly and holy St. Dorothy Day of New York.
Let it be said that the most saintly and holy St. Dorothy Day of New York is in Heaven.
Let those that disagree with us be outlandish, bluffing, baseless, totally lacking in knowledge, ridiculous, petty, lamentably ignorant, have no idea, uninformed, emotional, irrational, unreasonable, with grave error, uncharitable, hypocrite, and anathema.
Evangelical Catholicism insists on Dorothy Day being publicly venerated as a saint, that she is a Saint to begin with, and that she is in Heaven. The last paragraph in blue are the comments that Michael Joseph and his readers have thrown at me when I asked the simple question, "Is Dorothy Day a Saint?"
Last I knew that the Catholic Church does not allow for public veneration of non-Saints, that Dorothy Day is not a Saint (yet), and only God knows who is in heaven and who is not.
To read Evangelical Catholicism's diatribes towards me click here.
I've been aware of the resurgence of vocations for women religious and have found a nice YouTube clip that shows this. Unfortunately, Matt Lauer doesn't ask the right questions or any at all as to why many young women are discerning the contemplative life. (Hat Tip: The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen).
Off the Record of Catholic World News has an excellent posting on the cloistered life.
Pretty good stuff. (Hat Tip: LifeSite.net) To read the complete CNS article click here.
"It's been said that there are two Americas, and what I'd argue is that if there are two Americas, we're not divided economically, we're divided morally," Wendy Wright, president of the group Concerned Women for America, said during a panel discussion entitled "Beyond Our Pocketbooks: Social Issues and the Conservative Movement." On one side, Wright noted, "we have hedonistic Hollywood that imposes their sense of indulgence that the only life worth living is one that indulges itself." "We have the entire Planned Parenthood mentality that says other human beings should be used for your own sexual pleasure, and if someone else is a burden to you, if they are unwanted, then simply eliminate them, abort them," she told the gathering." And then, we have the other America that respects morality, that wants to end pornography in our society because it uses women and children as objects for other people's pleasure," Wright said. That side of America "wants to put an end to the killing of little human beings who have been designated as less than human" because "of where they are located -- inside a woman -- or because of how small they are, or because they don't yet look like you and I do," she added. "This is also the moral America that wants to protect marriage because we recognize that marriage is the distinct union between a man and a woman, and it is the foundation to a stable society."
On Thursday, syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro agreed with Wright's description. One reason for the moral division in America, he said, is what the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan called "defining deviancy down" because "when society tolerates deviance, it propagates deviance." Moynihan used the example of single motherhood, Shapiro said, which "used to be taboo, then it reached a rate at which we decided that we were going to recognize it as normal and legitimate." "When that happened, it skyrocketed," and now, 40 percent of children born in the United States are born out of wedlock, he noted. "The rise in homosexuality, abortion, single motherhood and pornography is just plain bad," Shapiro said. "Common sense used to tell us these things were bad, but common sense is dying." "Now, we have to have social scientists prove to us that chopping off your own leg hurts your self-esteem and therefore is bad before we decide that we're against self-mutilation," he stated. "Social liberals don't pretend to know right from wrong, or even to care," he said. "They simply claim they have a right to act as they please as long as they're not physically harming you." He described this as a "phantom" right - one that is never explained but "just spring up anonymously, magically." "Conservatives understand, by contrast, that rights are granted to us by our Creator to enrich human existence," he said. As a result, "conservatism is not about standing idle in the face of immorality. It never has been. Slavery didn't hurt white Northerners physically, but they sure had a right to destroy the institution."
"We've got one party fiercely dedicated to the most radical stances on abortion, homosexual activism and expanding the public square while shrinking the freedoms of tradition-minded Americans," he said. "And they've got the media squarely in their corner, defining the issues in a way that makes the opposition seem mean, churlish, even evil." "The other party doesn't seem to acknowledge or understand the interrelationship between the social and economic issues," he continued. "They think they can do one without the other." As a result, social conservatives "have to talk about these issues a lot to make sure they are the mainstream issues they really are," Knight stated. Also, "we have to talk to the conservative Democrats who were elected the last time around and who stood for family values allegedly and make sure they're doing this in Congress. "Finally, we have to confront candidates in both parties and ask them where they stand on these issues," he said. Wright cautioned against accepting political leaders' rhetoric at face value.
"We have to watch out now for politicians who are giving lip service but are promoting policies that accommodate the immoral lifestyles, the immoral America," she said. "Our challenge is to dig deeper, dig past the slogans, past the titles of laws" to determine if they are "promoting policies that protect human life, that respect life, that honor God. Or are they simply trying to fool us?" Knight also defended the need to focus on and discuss moral issues even during the ongoing struggle against terrorism. "If the social liberals have their way and say the profoundly important cultural issues are no longer on the table because we're fighting this war overseas, I think they are seriously deluded," he stated
(all emphasis mine)
From that chaos arose philosophy, art, and democracy emanating from Greek thought.
Philosophy to understand the deeper meaning of life. Art to appreciate that deeper meaning of life. Democracy to allow the people to engage in this deeper meaning of life.
This was the fertile soil called Western Civilization where Jesus walked and preached in Anno Domini 33.
Prior to His arrival, there was still anarchy in the pre-Christian world. A world that was bloodthirsty, unsympathetic, uncaring, ruthless, merciless, and without God.
A world where man was the center of the universe, selfishness ruled. With no God there was no love nor life, simply death.
Emperor Xerxes ruled most of the world known to western man at the time. His Persian Empire lorded over from the Indus Valley southwest to Egypt and northwest to the Greek frontier. His armies crushed anyone in his path. Emperor Xerxes eliminated entire cities, enslaved women and children, and put to death all surviving men in his wake. His dominion was lusting for more power and the Greeks were standing in his path to man made glory.
The very same Greeks that produced Socrates who philosophized that "Wait! Wait for a wise man who is to come, who will tell us how we are to conduct ourselves before God and man." These very same Greeks that produced Plato's Republic and the idea of democracy and the beautiful architecture of Athens.
These Greeks represented the only civilized remnant of humanity left to conquer by Emperor Xerxes and the Persians.
What prevented them from being conquered and destroyed? They were technologically advanced, disciplined, confident, sophisticated in thought, but small in numbers and even worse, disunited.
In 480 Before Christ (BC) Emperor Xerxes brought his great million man army (classical sources claim more, so we'll use conservative numbers here) across the Aegean and began marching on the disunited Greeks. Xerxes and his Persians needed to walk through the narrow pass at Thermopylae before entering the open plain and the rest of Greece to overrun.
Desperate to prevent their destruction, the Athenians and the Spartans put aside their hostilities to provide a united front for all of Greece. The Spartans were known for their minimalist way of living, or rather Spartan way of living (where the term arrives from) and their warrior ethic. A common Spartan wives tale told to their husbands when heading off to war was "come home with your shield or on it".
All of Greece were well aware of the Spartan prowess on the battlefield and if Sparta marched towards Xerxes and his Persians, then all of Greece would rally around the Spartans to face the million man army of Xerxes. Unfortunately the Persian war machine was marching towards Thermopylae during the Greek holy festival called the Olympic Games, which in Spartan tradition meant abstaining from warfare during this time. The ever pious Spartans would not send their army, but only 300 men, Spartans all of them led by King Leonidas.On September 17, 480 BC 300 Spartans and Leonidas engaged the million man Persian army at the narrow pass in Thermopylae while Xerxes watched from a distance. This battle became the greatest last stand in the history of humanity. Greater than the Alamo, Verdun, and Puebla.
For a couple of days the Spartans not only held back the Persians, they even went on the offensive and were able to pull off commando raids at night. So confidant were the Spartans, they could be seen during the intermission of warfare sitting out in the open field, sharpening their swords and grooming their beards to mock the Persians. One Persian emissary told Leonidas to surrender or die under the onslaught of a million arrows that would block out the rays of the sun. King Leonidas rebuffed him by saying, "then we'll fight under the shade". Another time the Persian emissary asked for the surrender of their weapons in which Leonidas replied, "come and get them from our cold, dead hands".
Ironically, the Spartans did not lose because of overwhelming Persian strength, but from a Greek traitor who told Xerxes a secret shortcut to surround the Spartans. On that day the Spartans died to the very last man. Each time the Persians asked for their surrender and each time the Spartans replied by rushing their enemies.
All of Greece were in awe of Spartan bravery and resistance at this great act of sacrifice. This sacrifice bought enough time for the Athenian navy to destroy the Persian fleet at Salamis which also became the greatest rout of a small force over a larger force. Later Xerxes returned to Persia leaving behind a smaller army to finish off the Spartans and the rest of the Greeks, fortunately for us living today, the united Greek forces defeated the Persian army at the battle of Plataea.
Greece was free.
Philosophy, art, and democracy were able to grow and flourish and prepare for Christs Kingdom.
Post-Mortem: I've viewed the original movie titled 300 Spartans and it is true to the history, but not so good script and cinematography. Fortunately Hollywood remade the movie based on a graphic novel of this history aptly titled 300. The trailer is amazing and I am certainly waiting to watch this myself.
Warning: Parts of the trailer shows sexual deviancy.
To learn more about the original movie, 300 Spartans, click here.
To learn more about the new movie, 300, click here.
UPDATED: HotAir has 15 minutes of new footage of 300. For the video click here.
"If you don't want an abortion, you don't believe in it, [then] don't have one."
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